BECKLEY - The estate of a Raleigh County woman is seeking damages over claims of staff negligence at an assisted living facility led to the plaintiff's death.

Carolyn Eason, mother of the deceased Amelia Janette Eason and administrator to her estate, filed a lawsuit June 11 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Res-Care Inc. and its employee, Dwayne Brown, for statutory violations, negligence and wrongful death.

Amelia Eason died on July 2, 2013, after choking on a peanut butter sandwich at a Beckley ResLife facility. The plaintiff asserts that Brown, the staff member responsible for Eason's care at the time, failed to acknowledge the woman's cries for help as she choked on her lunch.

According to the suit, Eason "had a history of choking on certain types of food," yet Brown ignored her screams until they stopped, deciding that she had fallen asleep as he noticed her slumped over the table from another room. Eason was left in her wheel chair for two and a half hours before another employee checked on the woman and found her dead.

The plaintiff, individually and on behalf of her daughter's estate, seeks punitive damages and "general relief" under West Virginia law, as well as attorney's fees and court costs. She is represented by Kevin Hughart and Arthur King of Hughart Law Office in Sissonville, W.Va. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge H. L. Kirkpatrick III.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 15-C-615

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